"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you
who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve" Albert Schweitzer

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Good To Be Back

We flew out of LAX late Friday night on the "red eye" to Fort Lauderdale then on to PAP.  Flew on Spirit Airlines as they had the cheapest flight.  Turns out that they have their ways of capturing the differential in the end such as charging for a carry on and in flight beverages.  They also informed us at check-in that the weight limit for checked bags had been decreased from 50 to 40 lbs.  Fortunately we were able to talk ourselves out of a weight penalty.  Please be aware that airlines are becoming increasingly adept at employing cost cutting measures so check with them prior to packing your bags to make sure you don't exceed the allotted weight restriction.
Immigration and customs were a breeze however we were one of the last to depart as 6/10 of our checked bags didn't arrive with us so we had to complete the paperwork for retrieval.  We're hoping that they will arrive later today.
The hospital looks very much the same only quieter, no patients sleeping in the halls.  We took a long hike up into the hills, returned for a nap then made rounds to become familiar with the caseload on the wards.  Pics below were taken at a small SDA church we stopped at along the way. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Now Available: Haiti Together We Move!

Before the earthquake last year, poor Haitians had never had access to comprehensive, high quality orthopedic surgery. That has changed. Haiti Adventist Hospital in Port au Prince is now providing world class orthopedic care to all patients at no charge. The project is in need of long term funding. A high quality coffee table book has been published to raise funds to support this work.
HAITI TOGETHER WE MOVE tells the story of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers to treat thousands of patients at Hopital Adventiste d' Haiti. Prior to the earthquake, this small mission hospital did not have the capability to perform significant orthopedic surgery. That was changed by the arrival of millions of dollars worth of equipment, implants and orthopedic specialists in the days and weeks after January 12, 2010. As the earthquake victims were treated, other patients with preexisting orthopedic problems started coming to the hospital as well. Acquired, congenital and developmental deformities of the upper and lower extremities are regularly being successfully treated. The substantial costs of this project are currently being born by the hospital and generous donors, including Loma Linda University. This model does not have long term sustainability for several reasons. An endowment has been created to fund this project in perpetuity. The Haitian Indigent Patient Endowment will subsidize orthopedic care at Haiti Adventist Hospital.
Image by Ron Haviv
The coffee table book is a collection of images from very well known professional photographers (Ron Haviv above and Antonio Bolfo below). Supplementary photos provided by volunteers involved in the project help tell the stories. The beauty of Haiti and the Haitian people and their culture is portrayed. First hand accounts of experiences in the chaotic days immediately following the disaster tie the pictures together. The months that have followed have been filled with remarkable interactions of volunteers caring for Haitians who have in many cases suffered for years with their deformities.
Every dollar donated to this project will be an integral part of the endowment. The interest generated by the fund will be used to subsidize the cost of providing care for these patients with little or no resources. As the donated implants are used, they need to be replaced. Maintenance of expensive equipment is an ongoing challenge in every hospital and Haiti Adventist Hospital is no exception. Important and complementary medical services are lacking and require funding to be developed. Hospital staffing is inadequate to care for the volumes of poor patients needing care. Haiti and Haiti Adventist Hospital have needs beyond needs. 
Image by Antonio Bolfo
The ongoing generosity of highly trained orthopedic and anesthesia specialists is one of the core elements that is making it possible for this project to continue. Teams continue to arrive weekly to provide free care. Members of the teams bring needed medications and operating room supplies including sterile drapes, gowns, gloves. Replacement orthopedic implants including rods, plates and screws are also generously donated. In addition, these volunteers pay their travel costs and all of the costs associated with their time at the hospital. The accommodations continue to be spartan. As funding becomes available, these needs can be addressed and the project can grow and improve and expand the care being provided.

Click here to donate and to purchase the book.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Father/Daughter Team Serves In Haiti

Brock Cummings and his daughter Chloe recently returned from a volunteer stint at Hopital Adventiste in Port au Prince.  Dr Cummings is an orthopaedic surgeon in private practice in Paradise, California.  Chloe Cummings is going to be entering her senior year in high school and is entertaining several options in the health care field upon graduation.
Chole wrote on her blog Tape and Tarp, "Our 2011 trip to Haiti was unlike anything we've ever experienced. We saw God working through the volunteers as well as the Haitian people themselves. We learned lessons about service, humility, medicine, and the local culture. Throughout the ups and downs, we know it's a trip we'll never forget."
If there are any health care professionals reading who are looking for a potentially life-changing summer "vacation" for you and your offspring, spend a week volunteering at Hopital Adventiste.  Contact Amy at arussell@llu.edu for more details.
Father and daughter team in action
View more images from the Cummings' trip here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CURE Clubfoot Program

A year and a half ago, a deadly earthquake shattered lives in Haiti. The CURE Clubfoot program in that country was shattered as well, but it was quickly re-established and is once again bringing healing to children throughout Haiti. Recently, Dr. Robert Cady, Co-Medical Director of CURE Clubfoot in Haiti, and Mr. John Mitchell, of MD Orthopaedics (a designer of braces used in the treatment of clubfoot), visited that country, joining Kendy Bellegarde, country coordinator of CURE Clubfoot in Haiti, to see the program in action and lend a hand as they went.